Don’t expect many big changes from Tony LaRussa when it comes to the D’backs’ 2015 roster. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Patience. That’s the word that needs to be stressed when it comes to the Arizona Diamondbacks heading into the offseason. Nick Piecoro at azcentral covered the end-of-season session with members of the D’backs’ new decision-making team. It doesn’t seem as though there will be much movement from the club if we are to believe what new GM Dave Stewart said:
"“I expect that the majority of the people, these names that you see, will probably be back in the upcoming season. We’re going to try to maintain what we have. We’re going to try to maintain our minor-league system. We’ve got to start putting players back in our system. So the trade market, we’ll look at it if it makes sense, but it’s not likely.”"
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In other words, what we see is what we get. Which, honestly, is not the worst thing in the world. Injuries can’t be as bad as they were last season and if you believe that a different manager can jolt a team, then a 10-12 win improvement is not that far out of the question. Stewart and Tony LaRussa will get at least a one year grace period off of what such severe fan disenchantment with Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson. I think most believe this is not something that will be fixed in one season. However, Mr. LaRussa says:
"“We’re healthier than I would have thought coming in. A few key moves and we can get better quick.”"
That seems like a little bit of a contradiction to what Stewart said in the above paragraph. Maybe he means a few key moves over the next two seasons. The D’backs probably won’t be very active in the free-agent market. While shedding the non-expiring contracts of Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado, there will be raises due to guys like Mark Trumbo and Addison Reed. LaRussa stated that the payroll could be anywhere between $80 million and $110 million dollars depending on values. It is safe to say that the franchise-record payroll of $112 million dollars will not be repeated in 2015.
Standing (mostly) pat and not bumping up payroll, words most fans don’t want to hear. However, after two offseasons of the wheeling and dealing Towers, those might be welcome sentiments.